Slumdog Kids Promised New Digs

Indian government vows to upgrade housing for kids 'who have brought laurels' to nation
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Feb 25, 2009 1:40 AM CST
Children of the slum where 'Slumdog Millionaire' actor Rubina Ali lives sing the Oscar-winning song "Jai Ho" from the film in Mumbai Monday. The Indian government has promised Ali a better home.   (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
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(Newser) – The two key child actors in Oscar-sweeping Slumdog Millionaire will receive new homes in Mumbai, compliments of the Indian government, Reuters reports. The children, who played the younger versions of the movie's main characters, "have brought laurels to the country, and we have been told that they live in slums which cannot even be classified as housing," said the head of the state-run housing authority.

Critics have blasted the film's creators for the continued poverty of the children as the movie reaped some $100 million. The director and producer said the children were paid above local Indian wages to act in the film, and that they were attending school for the first time, thanks to a fund set up to cover basic living expenses.